Eladrin "Arcane Archer"

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Hey y'all, I was tinkering around with a Ranger/Wizard MC build (thx Aoihasu) and came up with the following build:

Eladrin Ranger/Blood Mage/Demigod: The "Arcane Archer"

Attributes at Level 1:
Str 8 --> No points to spare
Dex 18 --> Main Stat
Con 10 --> No points to spare
Int 18 --> Main Stat
Wis 12 --> Distant Tertiary Stat
Cha 12 --> For Spell Focus

HP: 27; Bloodied: 13; Surges: 6 (6 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 17 (with hide)/11/15/12

Trained Skills:
Nature
Acrobatics
Heal
Perception
Stealth
Religion (from Eladrin Education)
Arcana (from Arcane Initiate)

At-Will Powers:
Nimble Strike
Twin Strike

Attribute Boosts:
4 - +1 Dex, +1 Int
8 - +1 Dex, +1 Int
11 - +1 to all
14 - +1 Dex, +1 Int
18 - +1 Dex, +1 Int
21 - +1 to all (Demigod: +2 Dex, +2 Int)
24 - +1 Dex, +1 Int
28 - +1 Dex, +1 Int

Attributes at Level 30:
Str 10
Con 12
Dex 28
Int 28
Wis 14
Cha 14

Encounter Powers:

1 - Two-Fanged Strike
3 - Thundertusk Boar Strike
7 - Spikes of the Manticore
8 - Spectral Ram (replaces Spikes of the Manticore)
11 - Blood Pulse (Blood Mage)
13 - Pinning Strike (replaces Two-Fanged Strike)
13 - Thunderlance (replaces Pinning Strike)
17 - Arrow of Vengeance (replaces Spikes of the Manticore)
23 - Hammer Shot (replaces Thundertusk Boar Strike)
27 - Lightning Shot (replaces Pinning Strike)
27 - Confusion (replaces Lightning Shot)


Daily Powers:

1 - Split the Tree
5 - Splintering Shot
9 - Attacks on the Run
15 - Confounding Arrows (replaces Split the Tree)
16 - Wall of Ice (replaces Confounding Arrows)
19 - Two-in-One Shot (replaces Splintering Shot)
20 - Destructive Salutation (Blood Mage)
25 - Unstoppable Arrows (replaces Two-in-One Shot)
25 - Prismatic Spray (replaces Unstoppable Arrows)
29 - Three-in-One Shot (replaces Unstoppable Arrows)
29 - Legion's Hold (replaces Three-in-One Shot)


Utility Powers:

2 - Yield Ground
6 - Weave Through the Fray
10 - Undaunted Stride
10 - Blur (replaces Undaunted Stride)
12 - Soul Burn (Blood Mage)
16 - Evade the Blow
22 - Hit the Dirt


Feats:

Heroic Tier Feats:
1 - Quick Draw, Toughness (Ranger)
2 - Weapon Proficiency (greatbow)
4 - Arcane Initiate (thunderwave)
6 - Ritual Caster
8 - Novice Power (spectral ram)
10 - Acolyte Power (blur)

Paragon Tier Feats:
11 - Arcane Reach
11 - Spell Focus (replaces Ritual Caster)
12 - Weapon Focus (bows)
13 - Retrain Novice Power (thunderlance)
14 - Feywild Protection
16 - Adept Power (wall of ice)
18 - Ritual Caster
20 - Great Fortitude

Epic Tier Feats:
21 - Unfettered Stride
22 - Arcane Mastery
24 - Epic Resurgence
25 - Retrain Adept Power (prismatic spray)
26 - Blind-Fight
27 - Retrain Novice Power (confusion)
28 - Iron Will
29 - Retrain Adept Power (legion's hold)
30 - Lightning Reflexes


Style: Two-Weapon Fighting (the only reason to take Archery are the PP options... and that point is moot here).

I had to do some messing around with the MC feats, retraining them a lot... So it might look a little muddled... Apologies. I took Wizard MC powers to abuse Blood Pulse's damage when moving ability, going for push effects and the like. Prismatic Spray and Legion's Hold simply blow away the Archer's options for those levels, so I threw them in there anyway. The build is pretty MAD, so I think that the array I posted is the best bet... This build is actually pretty well-rounded skill-wise; you can fill the Ranger's traditional role with Perception, Nature, and Heal, you can scout about with Acrobatics and Stealth, and you can be a ritual guy with Arcana, Nature, and Religion.

This build is pretty offensively geared; I dump my Fort defense (and HP), and barely support my Will defense, in exchange for AoE power.

So... What do you think? Viable, maybe?
It seems solid enough. I'm adding it to my list
Cool. Thanks.

Can I get some comments on it?
Why not take 'Thunderwave' instead of 'Cloud of Daggers'. It seems like the build doesn't like melee combat (especially with such a low Str) so it might be good to have an ability to push and run with. Then again, Rangers have lots of utility for that anyways... but that's the choice I would have made.
Why not take 'Thunderwave' instead of 'Cloud of Daggers'. It seems like the build doesn't like melee combat (especially with such a low Str) so it might be good to have an ability to push and run with. Then again, Rangers have lots of utility for that anyways... but that's the choice I would have made.

O.O... You're right... Especially with the Arcane Reach madness... which this build qualified for at 1st Level...

Thanks.
I've seen debates over whether the Archery Fighting Style is worth it at all. Why not take the Two Weapon Fighting Style (Getting you toughness to help you out with your low Con) and if you still want Defensive Mobility, push back Ritual Caster a few levels.

Honestly, I would take Toughness over Defensive Mobility anyways, even without the awesome One-Handed Weapon as an Off Hand Weapon benefit.

And with Quick-Draw, you could still hold your own if you had to drop your bow and grab two longswords.
I chose Ranged combat for this build because it minimizes my MAD. As you can see, I dumped Str, and I dumped it hard, because this build only really needs Dex, Int, and Wis. A TWF version would need Str, Con, Int, and Wis, as well as feats for heavy armor and the like. Additionally, the idea is to use push effects, which benefit a Ranged character the most. Arcane Reach is easily within my grasp with this build, and the powers for Archery are better at keeping people away than for TWF.

Though you do have a point for Toughness... I think a change is in order, as it doesn't really affect my character, since I'm not picking the Battlefield Archer PP.
I chose Ranged combat for this build because it minimizes my MAD. As you can see, I dumped Str, and I dumped it hard, because this build only really needs Dex, Int, and Wis. A TWF version would need Str, Con, Int, and Wis, as well as feats for heavy armor and the like. Additionally, the idea is to use push effects, which benefit a Ranged character the most. Arcane Reach is easily within my grasp with this build, and the powers for Archery are better at keeping people away than for TWF.

Though you do have a point for Toughness... I think a change is in order, as it doesn't really affect my character, since I'm not picking the Battlefield Archer PP.

Err... what? You wouldn't need heavy armor if you're scaling up your Intelligence. You don't truly need Constitution any more than the bow-user, but I agree with your choice anyway. After all, it's a lot easier to use Wizard powers if you have a character that isn't constantly torn between the ranges he wants to be at.

Good build in any event.
Err... what? You wouldn't need heavy armor if you're scaling up your Intelligence. You don't truly need Constitution any more than the bow-user, but I agree with your choice anyway. After all, it's a lot easier to use Wizard powers if you have a character that isn't constantly torn between the ranges he wants to be at.

Good build in any event.

Good catch, NCO, Int does apply to AC in light, though I think it would still be behind heavy armor, as 4 stats means that Str/Int can't be my only buff...
Le bump.

No comment?
Updated.

No comments, that means one of 4 things:
1. The build is as good as it gets right now, so no one's gonna post.
2. The build is utterly worthless, so no one's gonna bother.
3. I got rotated out too fast for it to be read.
4. Folks are reading about it from my Build Handbook.

I don't think 1 is true, as I just fixed a couple of things, I hope 2 isn't true, 3 would suck, and 4 would make me lol.

Any comments?
I'm worried about mainly three things here:

1.) The lack of Wisdom means you're not going to be as good at using your ranger powers, and the lack of Orb of Imposition lessens how good you are at locking down enemies compared to a real wizard. So you end up with a hybrid striker/controller that doesn't quite excel at either of those roles. It's generally better to specialize in one role than to be so-so at two or more roles.
2.) Squishiness. Dex/Int means you're going to be very squishy against attacks that target Fortitude and Will.
3.) Implements. Wielding a bow and an arcane implement at the same time is going to be troublesome even with Quick Draw, since sheathing an implement is still a minor action.
You should choose two weapon fighting over archery style. As I understand it, you don't need to use the two weapon style, just use the bow. You'll be equally as effective with your ranged attacks!

Seriously, the only reason to choose archery style is to get into the right Paragon path... which this build avoids anyway.

Two Weapon fighting gives you toughness, that's better than Defensive Mobility. And honestly, with your build, that's all either one will do for you.

I'm not advocating you get into melee! Use the bow! But don't choose archery style.
You should choose two weapon fighting over archery style. As I understand it, you don't need to use the two weapon style, just use the bow. You'll be equally as effective with your ranged attacks!

Seriously, the only reason to choose archery style is to get into the right Paragon path... which this build avoids anyway.

Two Weapon fighting gives you toughness, that's better than Defensive Mobility. And honestly, with your build, that's all either one will do for you.

I'm not advocating you get into melee! Use the bow! But don't choose archery style.

He didn't choose archery style.
He didn't choose archery style.

I couldn't tell, myself, until you pointed that out. He does have Toughness from being a Ranger, so he must have picked the TWF style. But it didn't clarify that anywhere else that I could see.
I'm worried about mainly three things here:

1.) The lack of Wisdom means you're not going to be as good at using your ranger powers, and the lack of Orb of Imposition lessens how good you are at locking down enemies compared to a real wizard. So you end up with a hybrid striker/controller that doesn't quite excel at either of those roles. It's generally better to specialize in one role than to be so-so at two or more roles.

You think so? Because I picked a lot of the Wizard powers based on damage and push. This build is meant to deal damage while keeping people away from him. And Ranger powers for which Wis is a big deal here are:

Two-Fanged Shot (L1 Encounter) - IMHO nothing is better for Archers.
Disruptive Strike (L3 Encounter) - the penalty to the triggering attack is 3+Wis, so still significant.
Hammer Shot (L23 Encounter) - Pushes 2+Wis, so still significant.
Confusion (L27 Encounter) - The move is gravy, frankly. If it doesn't work well, I'll swap it out. L27 Wizard Encounters have a lot to offer for a Striker.

No other power in my list uses Wis. I don't aspire to be a Controller, I am leaning heavily towards Striker. I just use the Wizard's AoE and push effects to deal more damage. If you notice, all the powers I swap out for (save Legion's Hold) deal more damage than the Ranger powers I'm trading them for.

2.) Squishiness. Dex/Int means you're going to be very squishy against attacks that target Fortitude and Will.

Eladrin and Iron Will helps for the Will defense. Great Fortitude helps for Fort defense. But admittedly, those are weaknesses.

3.) Implements. Wielding a bow and an arcane implement at the same time is going to be troublesome even with Quick Draw, since sheathing an implement is still a minor action.

It is? Huh. Well, since it's mostly built to be a Striker, minor actions aren't used much after I get HQ for the enemy I wanna take down.
3.) Implements. Wielding a bow and an arcane implement at the same time is going to be troublesome even with Quick Draw, since sheathing an implement is still a minor action.

If you can work it out with your DM, the staff part of a longbow may be sufficient to make special 'bow staff' implements. I mean, a longbow is basically a special staff and a string.

You don't get the staff implement specialization bonus anyway starting as Ranger, so you mostly need to sort out whether you can only apply implement bonuses from these special staff implements or any bow weapon, and how that works with your powers. It seems like a good mix to me in light of how they've set up the Swordmage, but I could be totally cracked and the ability to switch without a feat and a minor could be too much.

And even if you're going for a by-the-book approach, maybe this will give someone else ideas.
If you can work it out with your DM, the staff part of a longbow may be sufficient to make special 'bow staff' implements. I mean, a longbow is basically a special staff and a string.

You don't get the staff implement specialization bonus anyway starting as Ranger, so you mostly need to sort out whether you can only apply implement bonuses from these special staff implements or any bow weapon, and how that works with your powers. It seems like a good mix to me in light of how they've set up the Swordmage, but I could be totally cracked and the ability to switch without a feat and a minor could be too much.

And even if you're going for a by-the-book approach, maybe this will give someone else ideas.

ooor you use a handcrossbow
ooor you use a handcrossbow

How does that solve the 'you still need two hands to load' issue, really?

You would still need the quickdraw feat to grab the implement and to burn a minor to stash it again so you can go back to firing the hand crossbow.

The only thing that can get around this issue with the straight RAW is a Warforged character with an embedded (or whatever its called) implement to leave the hands free. But that isn't in the spirit of Eladrin as the OP desired.
Be a warforged, using embedded and attatched components from Dragon.

Sure, it doesn't boost your dex. Or your int. But you can have that magic crossbow that attaches to your back, and you can embed an orb in your chest, and run around casting wizard spells and firing off your ranged weapons while waving your arms around like a crazy robot.
That's not a bad idea. But burning minors is not so bad for me, HQ isn't gonna be used every round...
If you are going for an 'arcane archer' style build, I would use Artificer as your base instead of Ranger. You'll need longbow proficiency feat, but it fits the flavor a lot better. You can then get away with a 14 (after racial modifiers) in Dexterity, freeing up points for other stats (such as Con for HPs or Wisdom - people working on the class dropped a hint on the forums that the other path for Artificers will be Wis based instead of Con based, which would work well with thunderwave.)

This build, however, looks solid and fun to play. Just saying that an Artificer can use bow attacks with Int as the attack stat.

My first Living Forgotten Realms character is going to be Artificer/Blood Magus/Demigod based around 'Arcane Archery'.
Yeah, you're right. I just read the Artificer, and it certainly seems more viable. So I think I can lay off this thread...
Why Eladrin? Seems Elf is better. Wis bonus helps with Ranger powers and even Wizard spells and Artificer powers, boosts Will defense, etc.

Also, for a ranged combatant, the Elfs 7-square move at-will seems more useful than the Eladrins 5-square hop once per encounter. An archer who can outrun the enemy = never getting hit by the enemy.
Some Newb questions:

1. What does MAD Stand for (is there a lexicon somewhere I should read?)?

2. Where is the Artificer listed?

3. Would the two feats listed in this article be useful to your build? I think the friend step power might be:
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1070513
Some Newb questions:

1. What does MAD Stand for (is there a lexicon somewhere I should read?)?

It means Multiple Attribute Dependency (most 4E classes suffer from it to a certain extent, though the ones that are historically most plagued by it are Paladins and Rangers).

2. Where is the Artificer listed?

Check out Dragon #365 at the Wizards website.

3. Maybe... I'll try to incorporate something from it here.
Why Eladrin? Seems Elf is better. Wis bonus helps with Ranger powers and even Wizard spells and Artificer powers, boosts Will defense, etc.

He's a Dex-based Ranger and Int-based Wizard. Eladrin helps both. The race is an obvious fit. Intellegence helps his wizard powers far more than Wisdom ever does.

Artificer Powers are irrelevent, he's not an Artificer.

Wis boosts Will by +1. Eladrin gives a racial +1 bonus to Will. No difference there.

Seeing as he's going for accuracy and damage, he wants to boost the stats that boost said accuracy and damage. That'd be Dex and Int. Feystep is awesome. The extra skill is handy.

Not to mention the new Dragon stuff... Reactive Fey Step is great when they try to force move -you-.
Yeah, I'm probably gonna squeeze that in here someplace...

Ritual Caster, maybe?
Given all the powers that force you to move, having the ability to pre-empt that in an emergency situation is wonderful.

I also like the Trailblazer, which allows you to position a friend when you teleport. Keyed with the Swordmage, it makes you a kinda like a Warlord.
Also, why Quickdraw rather than improved initiative?
Wow, we haven't even wrapped our 3.5 campaign, to get into 4e yet, but I can see you guys are putting it through its paces. Where is the best to place to see some builds for 4e on classes like the Bladesinger?

Really nice build. I am learning 4e (and I am a 25 year exp DM) just by reading some of your posted builds. Can't wait to play 4e after the Realms books are out.
www.greekelectric.igniteinc.biz
Nice. A few suggestions -

If you drop Con to 10 and Str to 8, you can afford to bump Cha to 11 and Wis to 13 (or 12 in both), making Spell Focus possible, which will make your Legion's Hold and Destructive Salutation more effective. Str won't matter for anything but Great Ram Arrow, which you aren't taking, and you can probably survive with 2 fewer HP and 1 fewer healing surge. I'm curious, what stats do you plan to have at level 30?

If you're feeling starved for feats (and I know I was), you can take Combat Anticipation instead if Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes. It only protects about half as well as all of those combined, and only against non-melee, but it also boosts AC and only costs one feat.

While Shield is really good and works every encounter, Blur would also be worth considering for a level 10 Utility. An archer with Blur can be damn near invincible for one encounter. I guess it all depends on how spread out you want your defensive abilities.
Nice. A few suggestions -

If you drop Con to 10 and Str to 8, you can afford to bump Cha to 11 and Wis to 13 (or 12 in both), making Spell Focus possible, which will make your Legion's Hold and Destructive Salutation more effective. Str won't matter for anything but Great Ram Arrow, which you aren't taking, and you can probably survive with 2 fewer HP and 1 fewer healing surge. I'm curious, what stats do you plan to have at level 30?

If you're feeling starved for feats (and I know I was), you can take Combat Anticipation instead if Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes. It only protects about half as well as all of those combined, and only against non-melee, but it also boosts AC and only costs one feat.

While Shield is really good and works every encounter, Blur would also be worth considering for a level 10 Utility. An archer with Blur can be damn near invincible for one encounter. I guess it all depends on how spread out you want your defensive abilities.

Thanks for the input; I made the changes in the stats and feats.
Wow, it's been a while since I updated this guy. AV has Greatbows and Superior Crossbows, and I think I might go for the former (my minor actions are kind of taken).

Also, Forceful Weapons look to be made of win for this build...
I'd appreciate it if you would take a second look at this guy now that arcane power is out, and if you would link this build in your sig as i tend to follow your handbooks and builds.

I played the dragonborn nova build and it was fantastic and i am considering an arcane archer build but want your take on it now with arcane power.

nothing but the most respect for you.
There is now a bard PP that lets you use a bow as an implement, if you can justify a change that drastic to the build. Admittedly changing bard in for wizard will prolly reduce your effective dpr because of the rather lame nature of bard powers (imo), but it effectively solves the implement issue, making the build smoother if not more effective.
since bow is an implement for that class can you use the feat that lets you take another class's implement and use it for this build? it may be worth it.

I apologize for maybe resurecting this thread that seams to have died but in trying to get this build to use a bow for an impliment using the Arcane Implement Proficiency in the Character Builder I wasn't able to select bow as an Impliment. Is there a way to get it to do this or is this a new bug in the CB? I ask because I was thinking on starting one of these in the LFR campaign and it looks kinda fun.


I'd also like to know if anyone has refined it a little further with the new content that has come out since the last time it was updated.